Big Crowd See Backroom Staff Take The SpoilsWe may still be waiting on our first pre-season outing of the 2015-2016 season but a Town staff XI showed they still have that winning touch from last season.
Town’s backroom stars, captained by chief executive Matt Williams clinched victory on the last ball of a 12-over friendly game against a Reman Services XI at Albert Road on Friday night.
And despite preparing for Saturday’s opening pre-season fixture at Market Drayton Town, manager Micky Mellon featured in the match and managed to get off the mark before being clean bowled to set up a tense finally.
In front of several hundred fans, Shrewsbury restricted Reman to 83-2 off their 12-overs, with mid-order batsman Connor Cheshire hitting an impressive top score with an unbeaten 18.
Chief exec Matt, who’s unorthodox spin bowling seemed to unnerve his batting oponents, claimed 1-6, as Community Trust manager Jamie Edwards kept a sharp eye on Brett Hubbard’s high hit to take a deep catch.
Most of the Town celebrations were saved for club chef Ryan Leonard who took a stunning catch off the bowling of football analyst Michael Vernon to dismiss second-teamer Jack Wilson – prepare for the ‘catch of the day puns’ on next week’s menu’s.
Town kitman Dave Ashlin, who was the brains behind the event, scored 21 with fellow opener Jamie Edwards, who top scored with 24, with head physio Chris Skitt keeping his composure to hit the winning single in a truly dramatic climax.
Speaking after his impressive knock, kitman Dave was delighted with how the event had panned out and was quick to emphasise just how many people were involved in putting on such a spectacle.
“We talked towards the end of the last season with the manager, Matt (Williams) and the Chairman and we came up with the idea of getting out into the community, which is something the club love to do and we’ve been really pleased to get out to a lot of these sort of functions,” said Dave.
“I play at Remans so it was a great opportunity. Some of the lads were really keen to get involved, so much so that they’ve all been practising and really it’s all about getting out and the kids that we’ve got out today enjoying themselves.
“Jamie Edwards in the Community office has helped dramatically and we’ve got the staff here and a few players coming to do our junior presentation later as well so there’s loads of people involved.
“Unfortunately we’ve got a game tomorrow so not all the players could be here but all the staff have rallied round and we’ve got the manager here and I’m sure all the kids will enjoy that.”
After the match, the Town team stayed behind to support the Reman Juniors’ presentation night, of which playing duo Nathaniel Knight-Percival and James Wesolowski presented the youngsters with their awards.
Town manager Micky Mellon was pleased to be able to interact with so many fans on an evening he admits everyone enjoyed.
“It’s great to go out into the local community and be involved with the kids and it was a really keenly contested game and we enjoyed it in front of a lot of fans,” said Micky. “It’s important that we get out into the community and meet the fans so it was a really enjoyable evening.
“At the end of the day we know it’s the fans club so we want to make sure that we get out and get to know them and get to know the people we’re representing and certainly tonight that’s what it’s been all about but it’s been really enjoyable to play with the kids and have a knock about.
“I didn’t expect us to win, absolutely not but some of the guys were better players than I thought but the lads from Reman, you could tell there’s some real talent there and they probably went a little bit easy on us but we’ve really enjoyed it.
“We’d like to thank Reman Cricket Club for inviting us up to come and give them a game.”
Town’s captain for the night Matt Williams echoed the gaffer’s words about the talent possessed by the opposition adding; “We were playing against some talented cricketers which made it interesting and it was a good night.
“I bowled a bit of ‘flighted filth’ - it’s that bad it’s been known to get good and bad players out - but there was a great turnout and it was superb for the club to get some funds over the bar too.
“It was played in the right spirit and everyone enjoyed it.”